Changing educational paradigms to cultivate creativity

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson argues that we need to fundamentally change educational paradigms to stop ‘educating people out of their creativity,’ and instead start cultivating that very creativity to better prepare us for the global and complex challenges of the 21st century.

He believes that ‘imagination is the source of all human achievement,’ which echoes Einstein’s conviction that ‘imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’

Sir Ken Robinson maintains that ‘there are three principles on which human life flourishes.’ Humans are naturally

  • different and diverse
  • curious, and
  • creative

His understanding of ‘divergent thinking‘ and its relationship to creativity is particularly appropriate to foster transdisciplinary and transformative learning and cultivate global competence in the complex and challenging world of the 21st century:

Divergent thinking isn’t the same thing as creativity. I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value. Divergent thinking isn’t a synonym but is an essential capacity for creativity. It’s the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, lots of possible ways to interpret a question, to think laterally, to think not just in linear or convergent ways, to see multiple answers, not one.

Below are three unforgettable clips on the urgent need to change educational paradigms.

  • His RSA Edge Lecture from 2010 on how to make change happen in education and how to make it last (55:20):

  • The abbreviated RSA Animate version of the above lecture, with some highlights and commentary from Maria Popova:

  • His latest of four TED talks on ‘How to Escape Education’s Death Valley:’

Finally, here is some context to his popular book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (2009).

His most recent book is Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (2013).

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